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Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

The Lost Castle of the Astronomers

Jerry Stratton, April 27, 2003

The mountains of West Highland are dotted with scholarly orders, most of them, by now, lost orders. Only the rival Knights Caelius and the Knights Templar are known to survive to the modern age. Scholarly disputes in the high days of the Orders often led to battle, and the Astronomers and Illustrators were known to fight over the finer points of their philosophies. The Order of the Astronomers and the Order of Illustration were rivals over a hundred years past, before the Goblin Wars, when the Night Trolls under the mysterious Goblin Mage nearly overran the civilized world of West Highland.

The Knights of Illustration lost Illustrious Castle to the goblins during that war, and then retook it when the goblins were pushed back south, but they then fell into ruin and disappeared some fifty years back at least. The Astronomers are presumed to have lost Kristagna (their castle) and all of their lives: none have been heard from since the Goblin Wars, and the location of their castle has been lost to time; only the Illustrators knew, and the Illustrators aren’t around to tell. The library at Biblyon lost much of their works during the Wars, and now only vague references remain to taunt treasure-seekers and spell-seekers. (Make sure you work with one of your players about this—at least one of the characters needs a strong reason to seek out the lost castle.)

Kristagna is somewhere south of the Leather Road, hidden in the Deep Forest. The Deep Forest is a dangerous place, home to many strange creatures, dragons, and evil faerie, and of course is overrun with Night Trolls. The forest is not to be traveled lightly, and only adventurers of stout heart and cunning mind can hope to penetrate the forest and return with their treasures alive.

Lost Castle of the Astronomers is suitable for three to six 1st to 2nd level characters.

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